If ever there was a need to prove the great bard’s theory of, “what’s in a name?”, The Great Discontent (TGD), does a bloody good job of it. It is a success story, which perhaps owes some of its richly deserved success to the title itself – TGD is aimed at cherishing the underlying discontent that pushes one to dream bigger, work harder and take more risks. Launching at the time (circa 2011) when seemingly not much attention was being paid to what it really takes to be successful i.e. the risk-taking and all the fear that comes with it, TGD became a champion of the brave heart that earned its rightful place after relentless pursuit. This struck a chord with many, in particular the design community (no surprises for guessing that!). With thousands of followers and fans rooting for them, the magazine finally forayed into print after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014 (2,272 backers pledged US $105,097 to help bring this project to life).
Ryan and Tina Essmaker, the husband-wife duo (picture above) launched TGD as an online magazine in mid 2011, publishing once a week, long-form interviews (Q&A format) of artists, makers, and risk-takers, focusing on beginnings, creativity, and risks. While the print magazine which began its journey in 2014, largely follows the same format as the website’s original design - bold photography and typography, and Q&A styled interview; the tri-annual print edition promises long-form interviews which are exclusive to print. Each issue has a central theme and covers largely long-form interviews (somewhere between 8 to 10) and a few select short features.
Not too far away from the release of its 4th issue (theme ‘ambition’), the magazine has so far featured interviews of successful creatives from a wide range of fields such as music, design, publishing, photography, films and broadcasting too - Roman Mars featured in issue 1 of the magazine (sadly the copies of issue 1 are sold out but one can view the excerpt here and buy a digital version). Roman Mars is the host and creator of 99% Invisible, a short radio show about design and architecture.
Digression – An introduction to 99% Invisible, “Ever wonder how inflatable men came to be regular fixtures at used car lots? Curious about the origin of the fortune cookie? Want to know why Sigmund Freud opted for a couch over an armchair? 99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. With 80 million downloads, 99% Invisible is one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes”. Highly recommended – do listen.
Re-routing – Likes of Elle Luna, Stefan Sagmeister, Ike Edeani and Debbie Miller were amongst those who featured in the last three issues of TGD and have shared their passion and fears with the readers. The upcoming issue boasts of an equally impressive roster of interviewees –tattoo artists, Jenna Bouma; illustrator, Malika Favre; magician, Ben Hart; and social entrepreneur, Veronika Scott (founder of The Empowerment Plan). What’s not to look forward to?
*Picture Credit| The Great Discontent